If hearing, there’s only 5 more weeks till Christmas is raising your anxiety levels – here are 5 tips for creating calm and saving money this year

If hearing, there’s only 5 more weeks till Christmas is raising your  anxiety levels – here’s 5 tips to create calm and save money this year.

1. Create a gift-giving philosophy

Take a few minutes to reflect on what giving and receiving Christmas  presents means to you.  For example, does giving to others bring you  joy, or do you do it out of obligation or guilt?  Knowing your why for  giving will help you with allocating how much money you want to spend.

Think about the people you buy for – what is their ‘Love Language, Dr Gary Chapman, (do they like receiving gifts, or would they value your time or acts of service  more than a tangible present?).

There is still time to have truthful conversations with your family  and friends about your feelings and philosophy on giving and receiving and  how this time of year financially impacts you.

2. Set a Christmas Spending Allocation or Budget

Before hitting the shops, review your finances and calculate what is a  comfortable amount you can spend this year without putting yourself under  financial pressure in December or January.

You can then keep a record of what you spend or use an ap like Christmas  Budget Planner or create your own spreadsheet or paper list.  Another  strategy may be to take out your Christmas shopping as a cash withdrawal and  keep it in an envelope – when it’s gone, its gone.

 3. Buy Less

Here’s a few strategies to buy less presents this year:

(i)     Adopt a “Secret Santa” in your family  with a set $ limit, so you’re only buying one present rather than several for  all your extended family or friends.

(ii)   Participate in a ‘group gift’ with a few  other people, so the recipient gets a higher value gift from a larger group  of people.  You can then all brainstorm on the ideal gift for them  rather than making the purchasing decision on your own.

(iii)  Employ a ‘5 present policy’ for kids:

create a fun tradition with your family that your children know and  expect they’ll get 5 xmas gifts each year which meet a certain category,  like:

(i)              Something they  want

(ii)             Something practical  they need

(iii)            Something to read or  learn from

(iv)            Something to wear

(v)             Something to eat


4. Shop the sales

I tend to Christmas shop during the year around sale time if possible.   If I know what gifts I want and I see them come on sale during the  year, I’ll buy them and put away (store that strategy for next year..).   There are also online stores that offer good discounts for new  customers, so take advantage of these. If you need to post a gift interstate  or overseas, you can purchase online and arrange the postage address to be  theirs rather than yours. Black Friday/Cyber Monday is this week, can you  make use of the sales over these 3 days to buy your gifts? 

5. Gift Time or Talents

If spending money this year is going to be a strain, think of a talent  or something you’re good at and create a ‘time or service voucher’ such as  ‘3hrs of gardening’; a ‘back or head massage’ or make something that doesn’t  cost much in terms of input other than your time.

My kids made some for me this Mother's Day and I totally loved the  thought and effort they put into making them, as well as got some extra  chores around the house done. Win. Win.


 I’d like to leave  you with this …

Money is as much  emotional as it is financial.  As we head towards the  festive season, please be mindful of the decisions you make around your  money.


Watch this video to  learn more about how our brains are wired for financial decisions.


Karen Eley is a financial coach with more than 20 years’ experience as a financial adviser. Through her business, Women Talking Finance, she helps women to be confident and knowledgeable about all things finance. Karen translates complex financial concepts into simple digestible ideas.

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